A Beef Lover's Guide to Shopping
Today’s meat case is brimming with exciting choices – from traditional steaks, roasts and ground beef to new steaks such as the flat iron (shoulder top blade), ranch (shoulder center steak) and petite tender. Knowing beef basics and understanding how to read the label will help you get the most value for your dollar.
When shopping for beef, make the refrigerated meat case your last stop to ensure that beef stays cold as long as possible until you get home.
- Choose packages that are cold, tightly and completely wrapped with no tears or punctures.
- Be sure the packages do not contain excessive liquid – this can be an indication of problems with temperature or storage.
- For vacuum-packaged beef, be sure that the seal has not been broken and that the package is not leaking.
Choose beef with a bright cherry-red color, without any grayish or brown blotches.
- A darker purplish-red color is typical of vacuum-packaged beef. Once exposed to oxygen, beef will turn from a darker red to bright red.
- Choose steaks and roasts that are firm to the touch, not soft.
Don’t forget to check the “sell by” date printed on the package label. If you can’t read it or it’s not there, select a different package of beef.